I had planned to mention tonight's Court of Honor in my High Five for Friday post, but after looking at the pictures, there's no way I could limit this to just a picture and a caption.
On most days, there is so much estrogen around here that the Scout Master has become quite comfortable with all the girly things that fly in his radar. He can delightfully gush over new jewelry and sparkly phone cases. He has learned to appreciate a beautiful pair of shoes and the self esteem building value of a pedicure. And he has mastered the delicate art of knowing when to give a comforting hug and when to hide out in a safe place during certain days of the month. I am totally in awe of the way this extremely masculine man who grew up in a house full of boys has evolved into such an empathetic and compassionate husband and father. So, the fact that he was called two years ago to be the Scout Master in our ward was, I'm sure, no accident. He loves having an excuse to go camping once a month and hang out on a regular basis with 14 very masculine boys. I'm grateful everyday that he has this opportunity to stay in touch with his inner Boy Scout.
Sometime early last summer, after getting used to our new ward, his new calling and new responsibilities, and finally making the transition in his head from Elders Quorum to Young Mens, the Scout Master totally and completely threw himself into his calling. I think it was after spending a week with the boys at Scout Camp, that he realized his greatest contribution in their lives would be to move them toward achieving Eagle Scout. He made spreadsheets, set up quarterly in-home interviews with the boys and their parents, strategically planned merit badge activities that they could work on as a quorum, and lit some serious fire under some 12-year old bottoms. It was Calling Magnification at its greatest, and he has sustained that level of enthusiasm for this calling and these boys through another Scout Camp and throughout the entire year.
Tonight the boys had the opportunity to be rewarded for all their hard work over the past several months. Since the last Court of Honor in February, this group of boys earned 110 merit badges and 21 rank advancements. The Scout Master would never admit this, but their achievements tonight were due in LARGE part to all of his efforts over the past year. Within the next 6 months, two of his Life Scouts will be eligible to receive their Eagles. And 6 months after that, 8 more boys will be eligible to receive theirs. It is a really remarkable thing to see all of these boys so excited about scouting. And it is even more heart warming to watch the Scout Master quietly bask in the glow of their accomplishments. When I watch him teach them and when I see the respect and love they have for him, I always think about Helaman and his "little band" of stripling warriors. These are great boys and they have a great leader. I am so grateful for the scouting program.